Toronto Real Estate Inventory Soars, One of The Weakest Months Ever

Toronto Real Estate Inventory Soars, One of The Weakest Months Ever

Greater Toronto real estate prices are on the rise but may not be the usual sign of market strength. Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) data shows the benchmark, or typical home, price climbed significantly in April. However, it wasn’t due to a tight market. Last month marked one of the weakest Aprils on record for existing-home sales, accompanied by new listings jumping nearly 50% higher. 

Greater Toronto Real Estate Prices Ripped Higher… Sort of

Greater Toronto real estate prices made a big jump last month. The benchmark price climbed a whopping 1.3% (+$14,500) to $1,128,100 in April. However, annual growth was 0.97% (-$11,000) lower than the same month last year. Yes, prices remain lower—even with a giant monthly increase. 

Greater Toronto Real Estate Prices

The benchmark price of a typical home across Greater Toronto.

Source: CREA; TRREB; Better Dwelling.

Recall annual growth was positive just last month? It may be a little confusing at first to see a larger monthly increase but a return to negative annual growth. In April 2023, the TRREB benchmark price climbed at double the monthly rate just observed. Since prices are nearly flat, failing to match last year’s increase returned the annual rate to negative territory. 

Toronto Home Sales Amongst Weakest On Record, Surge In Sellers

Rising prices were certainly not due to a sudden surge of competing buyers. TRREB reported just 7,114 home sales in April, a decline of 5% from a year before. Excluding 2020, the first full month of lockdowns, last month marked the slowest April for sales in at least a decade. It follows the slowest March for sales in over a decade as well. 

Toronto Just Had One of The Slowest Aprils On Record

The number of existing home sales reported through TRREB for the month of April.

Source: TRREB; Better Dwelling.

The drop in sales certainly wasn’t due to a lack of choice either. New listings surged 47.2% higher to 16,941 homes for the month. This pushes the sales to new listings ratio (SNLR) to 41%, on the border of a buyer’s market where prices are expected to fall.  

The fewest sales (outside of lockdowns) in over a decade, inventory ripped much higher, and prices climbed. It’s a confusing mix, with agents’ anecdotal evidence indicating the small pool of buyers in the market are trying to “get ahead” of rate cuts, believing the central bank will send prices soaring any minute now. Exuberance, and the anticipation of credit changes, are now in charge of the narrative. 

Whether Greater Toronto has enough exuberant buyers to prop up the market is another story. Especially when one considers that Greater Toronto has recently seen a surge in mortgage delinquencies and rental vacancies